Northern Irish crime drama The Fall is back for a third series, after leaving our characters on one hell of a cliffhanger back in series two.
With Jamie Dornan’s serial killer Paul Spector shot and grevously wounded and Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson by his side, this series opener had a lot of ground to cover as doctors fought for Spector’s life and Stella fought to keep control of her investigation.
Finally, as the dust settled this week by the end of the episode, we were left with even more questions about what we can expect from Allan Cubitt’s dark drama over the coming weeks. Starting with…
1. Will Paul Spector survive?
We’re going to bet that yes, Paul Spector will overcome his massive injuries and make it through this difficult time. It’d be quite a lame duck series if we just watched Stella close the case with paperwork for four episodes, and without the cat-and-mouse interplay between the two leads this series is nothing.
2. How will he escape?
This is the big one, we’d say – obviously it’d also be a pretty boring series if Jamie Dornan just lay in a hospital bed recuperating and then went to trial, so it seems almost certain that the slippery Paul Spector will be making an escape sometime soon. A series focused on a weakened fugitive Spector would be a welcome change of pace, and the obvious progression for the story to take.
However, it’s pretty unlikely he could get away on his own, seeing as he’s still badly injured (and missing a spleen), so he’ll need help – and there are a few candidates for who could give him a hand in going on the lam.
Perhaps his disturbed teenage ex-babysitter Katie (Aisling Franciosi, above), who was desperate to visit him in hospital this week, will find some way to get to him and spring him from the ward? Or maybe his wife Sally-Anne (Bronagh Waugh) will remain loyal to her husband and help him escape, perhaps using her medical training to keep him alive in exile?
Or alternatively, it could be that another mysterious medical professional holds the key. Speaking of…
3. What’s the deal with that nurse?
This week’s episode introduced comedian and actor Aisling Bea as Nurse Sheridan, who seemed to be taking an ominous interest in Spector as she watched over him. Notably, Sheridan bears a striking resemblance to the type of women Spector usually assaults and murders, and considering Dornan’s killer seemed to get a brief look at her before passing out again we’d say these two have a dark future together.
Could it be that Spector will seduce Sheridan and get her to spirit him away, perhaps using her own skills to help his recovery while he hides? And then, maybe he’ll turn on her as he did to ex-girlfriend Rose Stagg (Valene Kane), returning to his campaign of terror on Belfast women? Only time will tell.
4. What was going on in that weird tunnel?
One of the episode’s oddest moments saw Spector driving down an imaginary tunnel, before crashing the car and choosing whether to walk towards the exit (where he could hear his dead mother’s voice) or head back where he came from (where his daughter called to him).
Clearly, this was a classic “walk towards the light” representation of life and death, with Spector’s decision to walk back towards his daughter’s voice symbolising his desire to fight for survival. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your opinion.
5. Why was Tom Anderson so worried about his career?
Colin Morgan’s Detective Sergent was shot alongside Paul Spector at the end of last series, leaving a question mark over his survival. But in this episode it turns out that he wasn’t hit quite so badly, with a bullet only going through his arm and avoiding any major damage.
However it’s hinted in this week’s story that the bullet might have done some nerve damage to Anderson’s arm, causing the detective to bemoan the potential end of his career, which has frankly left us a little confused.
Anderson isn’t a surgeon – do detectives need two fully mobile arms in order to detect? Even if he lost the arm entirely, why couldn’t he still investigate crimes and gather evidence? Surely there are detectives in wheelchairs, or with other mobility issues – what makes his condition different to theirs? Hopefully, the answers will become clearer over the coming weeks.
6. Jeez, Spector’s daughter had a growth spurt didn’t she?
Within the world of The Fall, mere minutes have passed between the end of series two and the start of series three, but in real life a year and a half went by before shooting started again – and when you’re dealing with young actors, that sort of time jump is pretty noticeable.
In this week’s episode Paul Spector’s daughter Olivia (Sarah Beattie) is about twice the height she was last time we saw her, a fact only emphasised by the fact that her younger self appears in a recap before the episode begins.
It’s a bit of a surprise, but unavoidable – and at least now the more mature Olivia can believably do a bit of sleuthing about her dad’s dark deeds. Speaking of which…
7. Does Olivia now know the truth about her father?
At one point in tonight’s episode Olivia seemed to finally see that her beloved daddy might not be the hero she thought he was, after tricking her mother out of the room to read an online news story about his shooting and prior murder spree.
Will she now turn against her father, or proclaim his innocence? Plot to help him escape, or be shaken to her core about his true character?
For these, as with all of our questions, we’ll have to sit tight to know the truth. Hopefully, the answers are worth the wait.